It’s been a while since I’ve done a Girl for Granted Talk – my blogger interview series! You can find my previous interviews here and here. I’d been thinking about who I wanted to interview, and plucking up the courage to send that email is no easy task. Luckily, today’s interviewee is as bright and sunny over email as her lovely blog!
Meet Jillian Attaway, the LA based brains and beauty behind Rhyme & Reason. I’d been following Jillian on social media, and reading her blog too. After following along for a while, I knew I had to reach out and at the very least say hi. I’m really grateful she agreed to be interviewed (over email) for this feature, as I know these things can take time. So with a big thank you and virtual hug to Jillian, I hand the reins over.
Your elevator pitch?
Rhyme & Reason is a fashion, travel, & lifestyle diary for the fashion-forward + travel-inspired.
Your style in three words?
Classic, feminine, and East Coast
I’m involved in a total love affair with peonies. I also really love garden roses and ranunculus.
I mix up my perfumes a bit but I have to admit that my two summer scents are my favorites. I absolutely love both Beach by Bobbi Brown and Bronze Goddess by Estée Lauder. In general though, I gravitate toward Jo Malone perfumes (and candles!) and Aerin Lauder perfume.
Three beauty essentials?
I’m absolutely without question addicted to Burt’s Bees lip balm. I also couldn’t live without my Nars blush (I love the ‘Deep Throat’ color!) and my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick (I love the pink quartz color!). The Nars blush and the Bobbi Brown shimmer brick are both beauty products my mom turned me on to when I started wearing makeup and I’ve never been disloyal to them!
Books you always recommend?
I always recommend the book Roses by Leila Meacham. It’s a tremendous story about family, love, work, hardship, and American history. Trust me when I say that you’ll fall in town with the characters and you won’t be able to put the book down. I also always recommend any and every book by Daniel Silva (especially the books from his Gabriel Allon series). I’m a huge historical fiction junkie so his books keep me interested, questioning, and learning.
Favorite way to spend Saturday?
My favorite way to spend Saturday is with family and friends. That’s my recipe for happiness! I’m definitely a foodie so I love trying new restaurants on the weekends for either brunch or dinner. There’s nothing better than gathering around good food and good drinks with your favorite people! A Saturday is also not complete for me without being outside and moving a little. I love going to the beach, going on hikes, and going on walks around neighborhoods or down fun streets in Los Angeles like Abbot Kinney or Larchmont. In the fall, I also love to watch football on Saturdays!
I’m afraid my mornings are a bit boring. I wake up earlier than I’d like, between 6am – 6:30am for work. If I wake up at 6am, then I’m up responding to blog related emails or doing prep for an outfit shoot that I have after work that day. If I wake up at 6:30am, then I’m rising at my normal time for work. I don’t wash my face in the mornings but I do splash warm water on my face every morning to clean my skin and wake myself up. The most exciting part of my morning schedule that I do every morning before work is to make a Be Well By Kelly smoothie. It’s definitely my favorite part of my morning and the part of my morning that gets me the most setup for a day of work.
Jillian on work & career:
Your typical work day?
As I just mentioned, my typical workday starts early. I’m a Kindergarten teacher so I have to get to the “office” earlier than a lot of jobs require. I spend my whole day at work focused on my students and my work there. However, on my lunch break (if I don’t have lunch duty and if I’m all prepped for my afternoon lessons), I will respond to blog emails or schedule social media posts for blog posts I’ve written. After work, I balance running errands, writing Rhyme & Reason, spending time with my fiancé Edwin, seeing friends, planning my wedding, shooting outfit posts, working out, taking online classes to clear my teaching credential, and weekly volunteer shifts at a women’s shelter. I work on Rhyme & Reason every day of the week in some capacity and I can tell you it’s a lot more work than meets the eye!
How do you get through your to-do list?
My to-do lists are sacred to me! I’m constantly running a to-do list and would be lost without one! I actually wrote a whole blog post on increasing productivity in which I talk a lot about to-do lists because I feel so strongly about them, ha! In general, I try to focus on a few tasks for each day that can realistically be accomplished. I majorly suffer from regret of not getting enough done on my to-do list if I get overeager and write lists that can’t possibly be accomplished. I will also schedule to-do lists out for the future with tasks that should be completed by or on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and so forth.
Any must have tools of your trade or things you couldn’t live without?
My answer won’t technically qualify as a “tool of my trade” but regardless; I’d say I couldn’t live without my peers in the fields I work in. In both blogging and teaching, I learn so much from the people I meet and form relationships with. Like all jobs, you can be comfortable and confident in your work but there is never not something new to grow in and learn. I definitely enjoy having great conversations with and learning from those working around me. Never ever underestimate the power of relationships, communication, and connections!
Any tips for achieving work/life balance?
I actually wrote a blog post that talks about the importance of self love in which I shared my struggle to create a work/life balance because the balance is something that I’d like to become a lot better at. I’m definitely no expert on this but for me it’s a game changer when I use part of my weekends to work on Rhyme & Reason. I spend a lot of time during the week working on R&R late at night and it takes away from my sleep (which affects my next day of work) and time I’d prefer to be spending with my fiancé. When I get ahead on the weekends for the week it opens up my time so much more and I’m able to balance everything so much better because I’m not weighed down by any one thing. The same can be true for anyone with anything, if you use part of your weekend to get ahead on a work project or to run your errands or do your appointments or to get your workouts in, then you’ll feel so much happier during the week when you can spend your post-work hours in a happy, non-sleep deprived way.
Jillian on blogging and life:
Your proudest blogging moment?
That’s a tough one! I think I’d say that my proudest blogging moments are when my friends or family tell me they love something I did, styled, or designed. Sure, they are supposed to love everything I do, right? But, those people actually know me and see me go through blogging so I think it’s almost not as interesting for them to follow me than it is for them to follow a blogger they don’t know and see doing amazing things like traveling the world or working with high profile brands. So, when they take the time to comment on what I’d doing and acknowledge the hard work I’m putting in then I know I’m doing a good job and I feel really proud.
Best pieces of a) life advice and b) career advice you’ve received?
The best piece of life advice I’ve ever received is from my dad. He reminds me that God created me in his image – how amazing is that?! I’m made in his image so how can I find fault in that!?
The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received is also from my dad. He’s given me lots of big time career advice over the years but he also shared a simple tip with me about email that I actually use a lot (and need to use more). If I’m swamped with work and can’t be prompt with my email, then my dad advised me to acknowledge the emails I receive by replying to the sender and stating that I received their email and will get back to them by a certain date. I used to frequently receive emails, read them, and realize that I did not have the proper time to respond to them so I would leave them to respond to later. Well, later can quickly become more than a few days, which I think can quickly become rude. It sounds so simple but it’s a powerful piece of advice that has eliminated a lot of stress that was always hanging over me around emails. Plus, I also appreciate it when people do that for me and I always feel like it is professional.
What’s next for you?
The next big thing for me that’s different from my norm is planning my wedding! I’m already in the throes of it but I will continue to be for a year as I’m getting married in October of 2017. I’m loving the experience of planning my wedding with Edwin so that’s all very exciting! I’m also taking online classes to clear my teaching credential (which teachers are required to do in California within 5 years of receiving a credential). I also switched from teaching second grade to teaching Kindergarten this year so that’s been a very exciting and different transition for me the past two months. What’s next also includes a few fun trips that I’d love to have y’all following along with me for on Instagram (Hint: I’m leaving the country twice!)!
Again, big thanks to Jillian for so kindly taking part! Hop along and check out Rhyme & Reason.
PS. Jillian also has a great blogger interview series – Sitting Pretty With! x